I’ve been re-reading stuff from here and there, as you do when in reflective holiday mode.
This, which I wrote back in June, goes to the heart of something which has been gnawing away at me for a while:
[…] if trust were to be re-engineered and to become the utility it should be, like water, housing, food and so forth – an inalienable right, that is; a resource we should all be able to access, whatever our position in society – then I’m sure we would see things quite differently: we would see them differently; we would act on them differently; we would begin to reconstruct and cross bridges of mutual understanding differently.
In truth, anyone involved in social media and social networks watches and surveills their fellow citizen in much the same way as the wider state has decided to – and really should not have.
And if we wish to reconstruct a better society, surely it should not be based on watching each other as we would prefer not to be watched.
As I’ve already described a couple of posts ago, there are people in my town of residence who brightly make the light of social shine. They do it selflessly, for sure; but maybe – as all of us are bound to – with an eye to making a living too. We all need to find a level of sustainability in our existences.
The tools they (we … all of us, sooner or later!) use to analyse performance do, however, border on a kind of virtual voyeurism. Just the simple, and “free”, analytics Twitter and Facebook may provide you with tell you far more about your audience and its instincts than any author of books previously knew; and if, of course, you use pay-for strategies, then the level of knowledge obtained about “friends” and “foe” alike is much more on the side of the surveillance state than the surveilled.
Information – its processing and its understanding – is a key driver in modern society: this is, I accept, a now inevitable given.
But let’s not become responsible for becoming that which we most criticise. Let’s not recreate, in our attempts to work to better shared futures, shredded futures of all-too-similar examination.
One last thought: this medium.com post on the end of the Internet as we know it (knew it …) is worth your time. It tracks how a good friend and neighbour can be allowed to decay and disintegrate with barely a murmur from those of us who witness – and if not witness, then accompany – the loss.
How loss is left for others to deal with and manage.
Like, in fact, those who walk on the other side of violent street crime; of public rape and VIP abuse; of the casual aggressions of the powers-that-be; of institutionalised porkie-telling on an industrial and evermore structured scale.
When life and death, and the death of something which gave so much life, reach an event horizon of terrifying nothingness.
That, I would argue, is what we are losing; ignoring; forgetting.
That, I would argue, is the stuff from elsewhere we should refuse to hurriedly discard; stuff from elsewhere we should refuse to neatly round up; stuff from elsewhere that needs to remind us how awkward society, democracy and the future are going to be.